Ms. Clio Cheng is enthusiastic about family gerontology and innovative interventions that make older adults’ lives better. She joined the Sau Po Centre on Ageing, The University of Hong Kong as a researcher. She involved in various research projects spans elderly employment, financial impacts on caregivers and stroke family empowerment. She aims to inspire policymakers and healthcare providers to respond to the needs of diverse older adults and family caregivers affected by stroke and equips them with the evidence and tools to do so. She has been presenting at several conferences and enjoys being a part of the research team in the gerontology field.
Empower Family Functioning for Stroke Caregivers: A Two-Tier Care Management Model
Every year, around 22,000 people who suffer from stroke discharge to home or institutional care in Hong Kong. While stroke survivors receive professional acute care in hospitals, transition of care is inadequately supported. Existing community services targeting stroke are mostly patient-centred, such as rehabilitation, home modifications, and home-help service. Support for caregivers and the stroke family is limited and under-developed. Stroke causes profound impact not only on the patient, but also on the whole family. It often disrupts existing family roles, affecting each of the family members.
Sau Po Centre on Ageing, with the generous support by Lee Hysan Foundation, initiated “WeRISE: Stroke Family Empowerment Project” through an integrated partnership with local hospitals and non-governmental organizations. WeRISE Project adopts a capacity building approach that employs trained care managers and young-old volunteers to implement the intervention. They form two tiers of supporters who help stroke families to enhance family functioning and caregiving capacity.
(1) Strategic partnership was established in three districts in Hong Kong involving five hospitals and three non-governmental organizations (NGOs), making prompt transitional support feasible. (2) Nine Care Managers and forty-six volunteers have been trained with stroke related knowledge and skills to build their capacity to deliver the service. Volunteers also receive on-going on-the-job supervision by social workers. (3) WeRISE project successfully recruited 96 stroke families as of 30th January 2018. For participants in the intervention group, perceived social support increased while perceived caregiving burden is significantly decreased. Preliminary results also revealed that family caregivers of patients, who suffered moderate to severe disability, have reported significantly increased social support network.
WeRISE Project is an evidence-based innovative intervention that leads to the establishment of an evidence-based practice protocol featured by optimization of family-oriented care management, district-based health and social care integration, and capacity building of social workers and volunteers. Preliminary data supported its effectiveness to empower family functioning for stroke caregivers.